- Handicapping the Republican Field: Part II, the Wild Cards (By NATE SILVER, NY Times/FiveThirtyEight) Or perhaps the better comparison for Mr. Huntsman is Representative John B. Anderson in 1980 — a moderate who beat expectations in the Republican primaries and then ran as an independent against a very weak Democratic incumbent in Jimmy Carter and a very conservative Republican candidate in Ronald Reagan. If Mr. Huntsman is on the ballot in November 2012, I find it almost as plausible that it will be as an independent than as the head of the Republican ticket.
- In the Spotlight: Et tu, Brute? Obama’s liberal base in Congress fires away (By Dana Milbank, Sac Bee) On top of that, Obama has little to show for his intramural squabbles. Clinton's heresies earned him the support of independents (the expanding economy certainly helped) but, according to the latest Bloomberg poll, only 23 percent of likely independent voters support Obama's re-election, while 36 percent say they will definitely back another candidate.
- Can The Tea Party Survive A Debt Ceiling Deal? (Benjy Sarlin, TPMDC) But unlike many Tea Party lawmakers and activists, every top Republican is against default and facing heavy pressure from their friends in the bond business to come up with a plan before they get anywhere near the ledge. If their choices are between a default crisis that could wreck their standing with independents, a short-term fix that satisfies nobody and boosts the Democrats, and a deal that achieves most of their goals while alienating the Tea Party, then it's a lot easier to pick the latter if they know that the right will oppose any deal, period.
- New Ethics Rules, Same Old Albany (By Larry M. Elkin, CPA, CFP®, Palisades Hudson Financial Group LLC) Independent oversight would be a good thing, but the Joint Commission on Public Ethics will not be independent. As a result, it will most likely provide little oversight.
- MacKay offers observations on gay marriage (by James M. Odato, Albany Times Union/Capitol Confidential) Chairman Frank MacKay of the New York State Independence Party is wandering the Capitol with aide Tom Connolly.
- If gay marriage fails in New York, Mayor Bloomberg's money is partly to blame (BY ALEX PAREENE, Salon) While the "independent" mayor selectively donates to politicians on both sides of the aisle, Bloomberg clearly intended Republicans to retake the Senate, giving almost a million dollars to the Senate Republican campaign just before the election.